October 2015 housing market update

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Time period Number of sales* Total value of sales
October 2015 1068 properties $897,550,172
October 2014 939 properties $691,327,946
12 months to October 2015 14,134 properties $11,259,304,970
12 months to October 2014 11,789 properties $8,284,689,933

*Includes Barfoot & Thompson Auckland residential sales that have gone unconditional. Excludes Northland and commercial sales.

Auckland housing market balanced as to price direction

Peter Thompson, Managing Director

The jury remains out as to whether the latest Reserve Bank and Government initiatives have halted the rise in Auckland house prices with the average sales price in October increasing and the median price declining.

"In October the average sale price increased marginally by 0.5 percent to $840,402 over that for September and the median price declined by 1.3 percent to $780,000," said Peter Thompson, Managing Director of Barfoot & Thompson.

"These movements send mixed messages as to what is happening to prices but what is clear is that the rate of price rise that occurred in September at the start of the spring season has not been sustained.

"It is worth noting that our records show that the median price tends to be more volatile on a monthly basis than the average price.

"Sales numbers in the month at 1068 were solid but they were down significantly on those for September (by 21.4 percent) and were the lowest in any month this year since February.

"Since the Reserve Bank announced an equity ratio increase for investors and the Government new rules for non-resident buyers, market trends have definitely changed.

"Sales numbers are definitely down but it is too early to say whether the changes will have a permanent influence on prices.

"At present, the market is balanced and sales numbers and prices between now and Christmas will determine where prices go in the new year.

"Clearance at auctions has definitely slowed, but a significant number of sales are being concluded in post auction negotiations. A new development occurring is that it is giving conditional buyers the opportunity to enter into the negotiations.

"For vendors looking to sell quickly, auction remains the preferred sales method. However, buyers are no longer under the same pressure to meet vendor price expectations, and the properties that are selling are those with realistic reserves.

"The sale of million dollar properties remained high in October, with a third of all sales (346) being for more than $1 million.

"Sales at under $500,000 at 130 represented 12.2 percent of all sales, slightly ahead of those for September in percentage terms.

"The number of new listings in October at 1820 was sound, and down only 6.2 percent on those for September, which was the highest in a September for 12 years.

"At month end listed properties increased over those at the end of September by 3.7 percent to 3264. Choice at month end was the best it has been since March this year."

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